Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Multifunctional Agriculture

  • Stefan Mann
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6167-4_67-2



The innovative, indeed provocative nature of the concept of multifunctional agriculture can only be understood fully by thinking back to agriculture’s role in twentieth-century society during the Cold War era, which was simply to provide food for a growing world population. Within this line of thought, two different scenarios were posited: whereas Neo-Malthusians seriously questioned the ability of farmers to cope with the rapid increase in population, particularly in southern Asia (Commander 1986), others, adopting a more western perspective, observed the remarkable productivity gains in the farming sector and concluded that only half of the land would have to be farmed (Kuhlmann 1986). In any case, agriculture was merely the location of a production function in which labor, fertilizer, and other factors were to be transformed into wheat, rice, and beef. Organic agriculture and other attempts...


Livestock Number Slat Floor Human Capital Externality Multifunctional Agriculture Economic Protectionism 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Agroscope, Institute for Sustainability SciencesEttenhausenSwitzerland